January 07, 2015
Ronald Friedman, Co-Leader, Retail/Consumer Products Industry Group, Quoted in Los Angeles Times Article "Struggling Retailer Wet Seal to Shut 338 Stores."
By Shan Li and Javier Panzar
Orange County retailer Wet Seal Inc. pioneered the quick translation of Southern California's beachy lifestyle into fashions for young women. But now it is trying to avoid drowning in the competitive teen marketplace.
The Foothill Ranch company said Wednesday that it would close 338 stores, or two-thirds of its locations, and lay off nearly 3,700 employees as the retailer tries to stave off bankruptcy and revamp its business. It will continue to operate 173 locations and its online business.
"The best way to get out of leases on retail stores that aren't performing is through Chapter 11," said Ron Friedman, a retail expert at accounting firm Marcum. "Their choices are raise more capital, get rid of all your bad stores and downsize."